Tuesday 13 comments

What’s that I smell?

I’m laying there in bed, not quite ready to get up and all of a sudden I notice a very unusual smell.  Hmmm, what is that?  It’s not coffee or the wood burner.  Could it be toast?  No, toast smells lots different than this.  It smells like something freshly baked, but who’s been in my kitchen baking before 6:00 am?  

Okay, so curiosity got the best of me, so I got up to investigate this new smell.  Hmmm, there’s no one in the house but me, but there sitting on the stove cooling off, is a pan of cornbread.  Newly trained baker Jim, decided as long as he was up and still hungry for cornbread, he’d make it all by himself.  While it was cooling, he took Molly for their morning walk.  When they got back we cut into the still warm cornbread.  And let me tell you it was awesome!  Fresh, hot cornbread with a little honey to go along with my morning coffee…life doesn’t get much better than that!

This afternoon, I’m going to teach him how to make split pea soup.  It’s really easy, but hey, if I can get someone else to do the cooking, I’m all for it.

We got just over 3” of snow last night, but at least it’s not as cold as it’s been recently.  Yesterday we did a neighborhood walk and the sidewalks are still a mess.  I can tolerate the cold and snow becomes a major inconvenience, but it’s the ice I really dislike.  The City has a website where you can report sidewalks that haven’t been cleared, but I’d be reporting half of the houses around here.  That’s the reason we like to take a drive out in the country and walk down some back road.  This is from a road we walked on last Saturday when it was still really cold.P1090515

I don’t know where they’re coming from, but we have more darned mourning doves around here than I’ve ever seen before.  Some days the feeder is so full of them, there’s no room for even a little chickadee to jump in for seed.  These were waiting their turn to get some free food. P1090521Time for the Pea Soup class to convene.  I know it’s going to be a delicious pot of soup.
Wednesday 6 comments

Time for an Update

Like so much of the country, we’re “enjoying” winter with lots of snow, ice and cold.  Yesterday Molly and I took a walk around the neighborhood and the sidewalks were very treacherous.  The storm that came through over the weekend started out as rain, then turned to snow so now the sidewalks have a layer of ice under the snow.  It’s been too cold for salt to work so the sidewalks are a mess.  We could really use a couple “warm” days so the ice melts and the sidewalks clear.  Right now, it’s like walking on egg shells, being so careful not to slip and fall flat on your face. 

We needed to get out of town, so this morning we took a walk out in the country along this back road.  It was still pretty cold and I’ve got to say, it was really pretty seeing the heavy frost and snow on all the trees and branches.  P1090493


P1090490And on the signs too.  

P1090486I don’t have anything against snow.  I just wish it didn’t stay around so long. 

Other news…I had my annual mammogram, got my teeth cleaned and we put up the Christmas.   It’s a real skinny, cheapo, fake tree, but once you plug it in and get all the ornaments (aka balls…for you Toodie) on it, it’s really quite pretty.  We went shopping, picked up all the gift cards and got all the Christmas cards mailed out.  I’m not going to bake any cookies, but will make a batch of Spicy Nuts to give to my old buddy Moose and his wife Laurie.  So all in all, I’m about ready for Christmas…not that I really had that much to do. 

This morning Jim decided he wanted to make a pan of jalapeño cornbread to go along with the pot of chili he’s going to make for supper.  I googled a recipe for him, gathered up all the ingredients and bowls and left him alone.  After awhile I went to check to see how things were going.  Well, he had a real confused look on his face and said, “I think I screwed up.”  Okay, what did you do?  He got the baking powder (2 tsp) mixed up with the baking soda (1/2 tsp) and asked if it mattered.  Oh yeah, it matters.  We tossed it out and he started over.  At least he hadn’t mixed in the eggs, milk and oil yet.  We sampled the finished product and it was really good.  So if you’re hungry for chili and corn bread, come on over around supper time for some good eats.

Tuesday 12 comments


Well we've got snow and most likely it's going to be here for awhile. The temps this week aren't supposed to get above freezing.  More snow is predicted for Thursday and again on the weekend.  Ah yes, this is Wisconsin and it's almost winter, so WYSIWYG!

I'm still trying to decide if I'm going to do any Christmas baking this year.  I always enjoyed making plates of cookies for my elderly relatives and taking a day to go visit them.  But now they're all gone.  I know I can still make them, but I really don't want to have cookies around here.  Mainly, because I LOVE cookies.  There's nothing I like more than rich, buttery, chocolaty, nutty, spicy, chewy, crunchy, gooey...well, you get the picture.  I have no will power when it comes to Christmas cookies.  Maybe I'll make a few pans of bars to divvy up amongst the neighbors.  I like bars too, but not as much as cookies.  Yum!
Thursday 11 comments

An Amazing Day

Today was one of those days that turned out to be way better than I expected.  Jim had pruned lots of branches on the big spruce in front of the house and had a pickup load of brush to get rid of.   We decided to take a drive up to our woods near the Dells to get rid of it and he needed to cover some wood piles before the snow comes this weekend.  So while he was doing that Molly and I took a walk down the road.  As soon as we got out of the truck, all we could hear was the sound of Sand Hill cranes.  As we got to the end of the road and looked out over the open field, I could see the sky was full of them.  At the time I thought they were flying away from me, but a few minutes later, they were right overhead.   P1090425And they kept coming and coming.  There were hundreds of them.  You may want to click on this to see a larger image.    P1090433But wait, there’s more!  As we were heading to Portage for some shopping, just a few miles down the road we saw the field where they landed.

Down the road a few miles more, we came to another spot where hundreds more were hanging out.  Some how they must know snow and cold weather is coming.  They’ll continue their migration south tomorrow and hopefully will be out of here before the 3-7” of snow starts on Friday.


The second amazing thing happened when we were at Walmart.  You know how you just never know who you’ll see when you’re at Walmart?  While walking down an aisle, I was behind an elderly woman and even from the back, I immediately knew she was my 2nd grade teacher, Mrs. Millegan.  Weird huh?  I knew it was her just by seeing her hair.  She always wore her long hair up in a very nice style, with little ringlets at the side of her face.  The only difference now was her hair was a beautiful shade of white.  I stopped and told her who I was and she said, “yes, I would’ve have recognized you too”.  Now if that’s not amazing enough, here’s more.  She was in the same school class as my dad, so that makes her 91 years old!   Seeing her, really made my day.  She’s the only thing I remember about second grade and it was great that we both remembered each other.  I really wish I would’ve thought to have someone take a picture of us.  That would’ve been the icing on the cake!